Thursday, January 30, 2014

Good riders

As well as saying how nice it is to have Hannah Nunn back working here, I should also mention how nice it is that our friend Sara Fleck is back in town.  Sara, a vet, worked for the Animal Health Trust a couple of years ago and used to ride out (usually on Frankie/Douchkirk) here before going to work.  Since then she's been working for the veterinary practice up in Middleham, but she's now back in town working for former Middleham-based vet James Tate, in whose stable she is the resident vet (well, one of the two resident vets, bearing in mind that the trainer is also a vet).  She called in here one morning two weeks ago when preparing to start her job - and you don't need me to tell you which horse she rode.

I bumped into Sara yesterday morning.  Three of James' horses had come over to our side of town, and as they walked away from the Heath through Rayes Lane they stopped so that Sara could stick her stethoscope on the colt which Harry Poulton was riding.  It was good to see her - and good also to see that one of the other two riders was the excellent but very unlucky jockey Paul Mulrennan, who hasn't ridden for months, the legacy of a fall at (I think) Hamilton in the summer.  Anyway, I was very pleased to hear that Paul will resume shortly - so let's hope that he can enjoy some good luck in 2014.  He deserves it.

There are just a few more riders who deserve to be mentioned in dispatches.  Recently I highlighted two of Marco Botti's staff riding a winner on the same day - well, an even better achievement came a few weeks ago (I think I'm right in saying) when three people from a much smaller stable (Julia Feilden) rode a winner on the same day: Julia's daughter Shelley Birkett, her nephew Adam Beschizza, and Graham Carson, who was working for his dad (whose string is pictured in Rayes Lane in the previous chapter last May, with Graham and his brother William at the front) but who is working for Julia at present.  That three-time really was remarkable.  It's good that Adam is getting himself back among the winners because he's a very, very talented rider: I'd say that the three most naturally gifted apprentices in Newmarket over the past 20 years have been three local lads, Jamie Mackay, Adam Kirby and Adam Beschizza.  The latter's career had gone very quiet, but he's doing better now - and the fact that he's riding winners for Stuart Williams says it all, because Stuart doesn't suffer fools.  Let's hope that 2014 is good to him too.

Finally I note that Richard Hannon's excellent young apprentice Cam Hardie (seen in the previous chapter riding Magic Ice last winter at the bottom of Railway Land on one of his visits to Newmarket) has ridden a winner at Kempton this evening while I've been writing this.  His boss is bringing him along slowly, but I'm sure he'll be the latest successful graduate of that academy.  Let's hope that he too can have a good 2014.

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